Monday, January 7, 2008

sundance memories

i was looking again at the desription and accompanying image for Absurdistan, and i was reminded of 3 of my favorite World Cinema films i've seen at the festival (in years past): the German film Absolute Giganten (Gigantic) (1999), the Russian Luna Papa (1999) (i believe that the filmmaker, Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov, is probably the best choice to make film versions of Gabrial Garcia Marquez' work; in the Q & A, i asked about it, and Khudojnazarov said he's always wanted to do such work and had requested permission from Marquez, but Marquez had been so horrified over "Erendira" that he lost hope for making films of his work; things must have changed. we'll see about Love in the Time of Cholera). finally, i loved the 2001 Chilean film, Loco Fever (which reminded me of some of Herzog's fine work in its mood and cinematography). if you can get them at a cool video store, you'll have some magic.

here is a fun scene from Absolute Giganten; from the plot summary, "In the port town of Hamburg, Germany, Floyd decides that he's shipping out to South Africa and Singapore now that his two-year probation for an unspecified juvenile offense has been completed. When he shares the news with his devoted friends Chubby, a mechanic, and Ricco, a fast-food cook and would-be b-boy, they can't comprehend their thoughtful friend's willingness to trade camaraderie for a wider view of the world. Overcoming their anger and bewilderment, the guys decide to spend one last night with Floyd, but the problem, as always, is how to find some fun. A succession of fast-food restaurants, parking garages, and local watering holes chronicles the inherent boredom of life in the provinces. But a run-in with a convention of dragster-racing Elvis impersonators sends the boys and their friend Telsa Julia Hummer on a series of adventures that veers from the farcical to the almost-tragic."

they take on "Snake" in a foosball tournament; they need money. i love the way the scene ends, avoiding the conventional screaming/shouting mess and opting instead for a simple, noble silence. make sure to watch to the end, where the camera angles are inventive and fun.

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